Need support- feeling really down about 9wk old sleep

(30 Posts)
tinierclanger Sun 14-Jul-13 08:24:06

Not sure why I'm posting as not really looking for advice, just feeling really down about sleep. DD now 9 weeks old and a few weeks ago was starting to sleep 3.5 hours at night, which I thought was great. Then she got a cold, then the hot weather started, then she had her jabs and is now.really unsettled.

Sleeps in the evening from pretty early - sometimes as early as 5 downstairs on our laps, then I take her up to bed around 9 and the past couple of nights she is unsettled till around 2- feeds a bit, drops off but will only stay settled sleeping on or sometimes next to me- not in sidecar crib. Sometimes I finally get her settled but now she only sleeps maybe 2 hours before waking again.

She naps in the day but nearly always on me, sometimes I can put her down for a bit but then usually wakes after 20 mins.

So fed up as it seemed to be going well and now feel like it has all gone wrong. hmm DS shouting at me this morning as I had to stop playing with him to settle her for nap.

DH and I sleeping separately ATM except weekends by mutual agreement so he can get sleep and he is great but she is EBF so can't do much.

Please cheer me up! Sorry for epic post but v cathartic. hmm

tinierclanger Sun 14-Jul-13 08:27:37

Just added formula to shopping list although really don't want to give up BF hmm

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 14-Jul-13 08:30:24

Would it help if I told you that it's normal? Because it is. I know it is beyond tough, but it will get better.

Your dh can still play a part in the night. When my ds's went through these stages I would feed and dh would settle.

If you want to tweak anything, I would try and work on settling her later in the evening 7-9pm. That way you can go to bed early and have a block of sleep.

tinierclanger Sun 14-Jul-13 08:40:35

Yes being told its normal helps so much as at the minute I feel such a failure! I think DH will give her a bottle of EBM tonight and I'll go to bed early. I don't know whether to start trying to settle her upstairs alone in the evening but she seems so little for it - I'm really torn.

Emmie10 Sun 14-Jul-13 09:15:15

When my dd was that age I went to bed when she did. Felt bad sometimes that my husband would only be home from work for half an hour and I would head off to bed but he repeated the mantra "we do what it takes to survive! It's not for long".

Nannyowl Sun 14-Jul-13 09:27:25

Hi OP

Try to get her to go off to sleep on her own in the day. That is not being in your arms. We all have deep and light sleep cycles. When your baby is in a light sleep cycle she is waking up, but might sleep longer if in her crib or cot at this stage. It is important she learns to get herself off to sleep; so put her down awake. Sometimes babies are better at this if dad or another person puts them down.
Also you could try a bedtime bath early evening, maybe a relaxing massage hen put baby down awake.
As others have said babies this age do still wake frequently in the night.
You must be very tired, could someone give baby an expressed feed so you can catch up on some sleep?

tinierclanger Sun 14-Jul-13 10:27:42

She won't go off on her own, she just cries and gets upset and more awake. TBH I thought babies couldn't really get the hang of that until they were over 12 weeks. Now I just feel worse. hmm

curlew Sun 14-Jul-13 10:32:40

She's teeny tiny. Do what works. REALLY don,t worry about self settling or anything like that. You can keep trying loads of different things and eventually things will change- or you can just carry on doing whatever's easiest- and eventually things will change. It's hard. But it passes.

curlew Sun 14-Jul-13 10:34:53

Tinierclanger- it really isn't important that she goes down awake. It really isn't. What's important is that you do what's easiest.

tinierclanger Sun 14-Jul-13 10:45:07

Thanks all. I know the advice is well meant and I do appreciate it but I think right now I just need kind words and a reminder it will get better. DS was a bad sleeper and I just panic it will be the same even though on good days when I'm not knackered I can be more relaxed about it and remind myself to just go with the flow.

. I made it worse for myself first time round by stressing and blaming myself and I promised I wouldn't do that this time...she really is only tiny and will sleep alone some of the time so it seems fair enough really that she wants a lot of cuddles at other times.

Sleepstarved Sun 14-Jul-13 14:26:11

I could have written your post OP only my DD is 15 weeks!
The longest sleep I had last night was two hours, she was awake every 90 mins from 8pm until 5.30 when she decided to start chatting and babbling.
I am almost at the point of putting her in the garden to CIO.
She never naps for more than 40 mins unless I am with her and feed her back to sleep, screams in pram and car seat. Will fall asleep in carrier but that is the same as being cuddled isn't it.
I too have a toddler and it just isn't fair on them.
I hate that I have apparently got another bad sleeper while a friend with twins has more 12 hour sleepers, long naps ect - they fall asleep on their play mat ffs.
I don't want to leave her to CIO as I don't think it's right but mostly because I don't think she would ever stop.
DH means well but can't really settle her.

NothingsLeft Mon 15-Jul-13 19:33:16

I agree she is still a teeny, tiny little one.

If it helps my DS self settled from birth and has still been the worse sleeper going! It is not the be all and end all. I'm going to have the next one strapped to my body for at least six months and save myself the stress smile

tinierclanger Mon 15-Jul-13 19:38:43

DH stayed up late with her last night and gave her a bottle of EBM and she slept a lot better last night so I feel more human. Have agreed he's going to do that every few days so hopefully I can be more relaxed about things smile this baby definitely likes to sleep on people though! Will just have to get used to using the sling more.

curlew Mon 15-Jul-13 19:48:39

Sleepstqrved- if she will sleep in the carrier- why not just leave her in there and get on with whatever you want to do? That way you can give her what she wants and sort of ignore her while you give most of your attention to your toddler.

Tinierclanger- you are doing all the right things, you are making her happy and secure. It will get better soon.

One bit of counter intuitive advice. I think it's a good thing to let your toddler know that you find the baby a bit of a pain in the neck sometimes. Do an exaggerated sigh and say something like "oh nooooooo what does she want now! And just when we were getting to the good bit of the game! [or book or whatever] Look, you carry on setting up the track [or whatever] and eat this chocolate biscuit, and I'll be back as soon as I can. OK?" I found this really helped when mine were small- it made the older one feel that i wasn't favouring the baby because i wanted to, and also it made it OK for her to feel a bit resentful too. Remember, if anyone has to be "neglected" it should be the baby!

tinierclanger Mon 15-Jul-13 19:52:06

Good advice re rolling eyes about the baby, I'll try and remember that!

curlew Mon 15-Jul-13 19:53:27

The chocolate biscuit bit is worth remembering too.

karinmaria Mon 15-Jul-13 20:12:49

Please don't worry about self settling! My DS is 14 weeks and generally a good sleeper. However this heat has completely thrown him and he was waking more in the night for a week or so after his jabs. I settle him in his pram during the day with movement and at night in my arms before putting him down (not in his cot, we cosleep and use a poddle pod). It's only been since 8 weeks or so that he's been sleeping for longer periods after I've put him down.

I was beating myself up about settling him with cuddles and him not sleeping in his cot. Went to a new NCT group today and the mums of the 7-9 month olds all said they did exactly what I did at this age and it slowly got better!

Just do what works for you. It'll work itself out.

Sleepstarved Tue 16-Jul-13 13:36:22

I don't like wearing the sling all day because it gets uncomfortable on my shoulders and at the moment it is just too hot.
DD will only be in it forward facing now so when she falls asleep I can't bend forward to do things as her head will loll unless I hold it. All becomes a bit irritating. Loading shopping onto conveyor is particularly hard.
Getting toddler in and out of buggy, car seat, highchair ect is not easy either.
She is driving me mad though, ended up carrying her most of way back from the park because every time I put her down (asleep) she'd wake and start crying. Left her to cry for last 10 mins and felt so bad afterwards because she was in a right state and with such a look of terror on her face.
I swing between 'its cruel to leave her' to 'I can't stand this any longer'.

MrsDonaldDraper Tue 16-Jul-13 13:49:46

Tinier - I wandered in here about to post exactly the same thing! My 10 week old has suddenly started going back to 2 hours max between feeds at night. She'll barely keep during the morning, but will sleep a bit in the afternoons. I had just established a routine of bathing her round 8/8.30pm, then bottle, then bed and the hot weather has put tht out of kilter too.

I read the baby books at the weekend and thoroughly depressed myself with news that she should be going 5 hours at night.

No advice, but a manly punch to the shoulder in solidarity.

philbee Tue 16-Jul-13 14:03:57

OP exactly the same has happened here with 12 wk old DD2. She was going a good stretch at night so I'd get in bed about 8/9 and sleep for a while and she'd wake twice and settle straight away. Then we both got colds, plus the heat and it takes all evening of DH rocking her, sweaty and screaming, she often wakes after being out down, can't settle again after I've fed her. I got so fed up yesterday evening, I was crying and snapping and just feeling like the whole thing was falling apart. As a last resort I feed her lying down next to me in bed (like you my DH is in the other room, but he won't even visit at weekends hmm) and she will drop off that way, but I don't like it because I worry and I also feel like I 'should be' trying to get her to self settle in cot, preferably earlier in the evening. I also thought 'sod it, she's getting a bottle of formula' yesterday as at least then DH could just have her and feed her if she's unsettled. Gah!

tinierclanger Tue 16-Jul-13 20:22:37

Manly punches all round! We will get through this!

lem31 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:22:20

I could have written your post about my 6 week old. On a good night we may get a stretch of 2 hours at some point, but recently he will go into his Moses basket for about half an hour before waking. He isn't interested in food particularly, nappy is clean, just wants to sleep on me.
As he is obviously tired Ispent my night awake productively by buying a new mattress called a tomy sleepcurve. Meant to be good for reflux and colic and may be more comfortable so he sleeps better...??

He also was self soothing. Now wont so bollox to it quite frankly. It seems to be chance. Survive, then worry about sleep training when you are not exhausted.
Good luck - will probably meet you on here at 3am sometime...

Sleepstarved Fri 19-Jul-13 13:18:30

So here we all are, with our bunch of tiny Klingons who won't sleep without us.
How are you coping? DD2 and I had one night of waking every 40mins but got back to every two hours last night. God I am tired, poor toddler was left in front of tv most of yesterday.
It's somehow reassuring that you are out there somewhere going through the same and I didn't break DD - she did this on her own!

tinierclanger Fri 19-Jul-13 14:06:44

After a run of only settling on me for a few nights, she settled back into the crib all night - longest stretch about 2.5 hours but still felt like a massive improvement so of course I feel all sunny and optimistic today smile

notsochic Fri 19-Jul-13 14:25:40

Am reading this with my 12 week old zonked out on me. Poor love has had no proper naps today with our comings and goings as she always sleeps on me during day but I also have a 3 year old.

You know, with DS I read a lot of books and had a cuddly but non sleeping baby and so much angst aboutt what I should and shouldn't do and worrying about self settling and windows of opportunity and other people's earnest advice.

This time round my mantra of choice is 'she's a tiny baby animal!' It is normal, healthy and beneficial that she wants to snuggle up next to me and fill her tiny tummy frequently. So I feed her to sleep, hold her all day and she sleeps in the cot at night.

I'll get to regular naps, she won't always feed to sleep but right now she's little and lovely and just needs cuddles.

It's also normal not to feel v charitable about this cuddliness too at times :-)

Yes yes to eye rolling so older DC know you understandhow they feel too. But they do secretly like you taking care of the baby as they know you will take care of them too. I also say nice things to DD about DS pretending I don't know he's there eg 'oh DD, DS is so funny and such a kind big brother. I can't wait to play lego with him in a minute' and I tell him DD is smiling st him, thinks he is the best big brother etc etc.

Sleepstarved Sun 21-Jul-13 13:13:58

Hi gang,
I am not coping with this co-sleeping/boob all night, I am so tired I feel like I am going to crumple in a heap.
DD has not gone back to her long first sleep of the night so it's 2 hourly from the moment I put her down and she may take 3 goes a putting down.
I don't know what to try, CIO and CC are off the cards as I don't think she would ever stop or stay asleep if she did go off.
I guess I bite the bullet and keep putting her back in her cot. Maybe when DH around so I can catch up in day.
Naps are the same, needs walking or feeding to sleep and then carefully put down so she doesn't notice.
God I miss those early days when she'd go down at 8pm, wake a little, put herself back to sleep and go through to 2/3 once even 5!

philbee Mon 22-Jul-13 02:24:05

sleepstarved that sounds rotten. No suggestions here I'm afraid. I've started feeding DD to sleep in the evening and putting her in her cot instead of the usual living room screamathon. First night she woke at 12.30 and 4.30, last night 10.30, 1.30, 4.30, 5.30, and so far tonight 8.30, 10.30, 12.30, 1.30... Ugh. I'm hoping it's the 12 weeks growth spurt. She's trying to suck her thumb and just about there - maybe that will mean she can self soothe. Really fed up with the heat now tbh, although I know I'm not supposed to say that.

lem31 Thu 25-Jul-13 05:18:14

Just wanted to share a breakthrough we have had. Bought tomy sleepcurve mattress and put baby in a grobag. Keeping him awake a little longer in the daytime and putting him into his Moses basket in the day when he sleeps where possible.
When I put him down or if he stirs I've been stroking his head or chest rather than picking him up straight away.
Now, its early days but last 2 nights he has gone down really well and slept for 2-3 hours at a time! A good start.

If that doesn't work I've also seen these pods you can get to help you safely co sleep. Not for everyone, but if you are desperate to sleep its gotta be worth it.

God luck. X

tinierclanger Thu 25-Jul-13 10:08:33

Things have definitely improved here. She's settling back into the crib between feeds now. Once or twice gone for 4 hours between feeds as well! Although still mostly 2-3 hours but I'm much less stressed now. Still mostly sleeping on me in the day and feeding or rocking to sleep but I know it's still early days so I'm fine with that ATM. smile

lem31 Thu 25-Jul-13 20:04:44

That's great. It's all small steps, it that 2-3 hours makes all the difference in the world. Well done for sticking with it. Xx

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